After a relatively mild winter, tick experts are warning the tick population could boom this year. 

Harsher winters typically help reduce the tick population, but this year was practically balmy as far as East Tennessee winters go -- with plenty of rain to boot.

"Rainfall in the summertime appears to be a positive correlation," says Dr. T.J. Jones at East Tennessee State University. "As long as you're not in an extreme drought, the tick population will be happy."

In 2017 -- the CDC said there were a record number of nearly 60,000 cases of tick-born illnesses, which was up substantially from nearly 49,000 cases in 2016.

Read more on WBIR's website.